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Have you ever been someone’s afterthought?

When my youngest daughter was in 4th grade a very cute boy stopped her outside at recess, “I asked another girl to the dance and she said ‘no.’ Do you want to go with me?”

My daughter looked at him and without even hesitating she shook her head and said, “No.”

Later, she talked with me about her day and about recess. When I asked her why she didn’t want to go with him she told me, “I will not be someone’s second!”

I’m not sure how she already knew her value (because I had still been trying to learn my value) but I’d been working her whole life to instill in her she’s precious and she matters.


Somehow she understood at this young age she was worth more than a left-over invitation to be someone’s second choice.

Everyone is made in His image and is worth caring for.


It leaves a bitter taste in your mouth when someone treats you as less than and leaves you out, excludes you, doesn’t acknowledge you, or treats you as second.

You do not love someone well with your left-overs.

Think about any relationship you’ve had where you were cheated on somehow and you can hear (and feel) what I’m saying.

Our God is a jealous God and – every day – He wants your whole heart and your whole life.

He wants your first.

He is waiting patiently for your FIRST THOUGHTS in the morning to be on HIM.

He is worthy of your FIRST WORDS every morning before your feet are out of bed.

He asks for the FIRST of your efforts every day.

He even tells us to test Him by giving our first money.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. TEST ME in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and SEE IF I WILL not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out SO MUCH BLESSING that there will not be room enough to store it. -Malachi 3:10

If we are always putting Him second then we can’t be surprised that feeling behind is what we keep feeling.

Our bodies are not even our own but we have been bought at the highest price.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19

Christ’s blood is what God decided you are worth.

And He says the person you love is worth His blood.

And He also says the person you can’t stand to be around is worth His blood.

The enemy tries to distract us to whisper and confuse us about who we are.

When we know our identity cannot be touched, we have no reason to let God ever be second.

Our identity is to be found in Jesus Christ.

Nothing can change this. Nothing can take Him away. Nothing can shake this Truth.

No matter what anyone thinks about you, NOBODY can make you less than His.

Your life is made up of time.

Hear this.

God wants your time.

When you write or think about your schedule, do you pray what He wants you to do with your time He’s gifted to you today?

He’s not asking for your 5 year plan.

He’s asking for your next 5 minutes.

He’s not mad at you.

People know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

God led people before the Bible was written to write the Bible (which is actually proof that He led people before the Bible was written because how can we believe that the Bible is God-led unless God led them to write it?)

He led people during Bible times which is clear in the Bible.

And since His Word is a Living Word and He is a Living God, He still leads people today.

The same people who profess that God is the same yesterday, today and forever are some of the same people who will adamantly tell you that God does not really lead us today in 2015.

How can that be?  If He is the same always and He led yesterday, then it is obvious that He still leads today.

The Bible is not just a history book. It is a book showing us God’s Love, Redemption, and Grace for mankind. And just because we can read how God saved (or wiped out) people in the Bible does not mean He could only do that work ONE time. He can and DOES STILL save (and wipe out people.)

People will argue.  And the sad thing is that so much of the church seems to be so busy arguing like Pharisees that people who don’t know Jesus yet may wonder if He’s a good thing or not.

He is.  He is good.  Jesus is The ONLY Way to Heaven.  And I apologize for how we Christians sometimes mess things up by making stuff sound too complicated.  Because it’s really not.

~~>  Jesus loves you.  <~~

You are here on purpose and for a purpose.

But God is a jealous God and we’ve made idols that come before Him, we’ve turned the beautiful sex that He made into pornography under the disguise of “entertainment,” put sports games before worshipping Him, plastered our walls with posters of movie stars and musicians, and pretend that WE are to be praised for how well our career is going instead of praising Him for the job AND for the talents to do the jobs.

Praise Him – in good AND bad times.  Amazing things happen when we do this.  It’s not about me or you.  Life is about God.  We are made by Him and to bring Him glory.  He created us with the very talents needed to do the jobs He’s planned for us since before we were born.

Have you heard the Good News?

Jesus is not still on the cross. He is RISEN!

Let’s celebrate that He is risen when we share communion.

Many times the atmosphere during communion (at least in most church buildings where I’ve attended) feels much more like a funeral than a celebration.

~~~>  REJOICE! HE IS RISEN!  <~~~

Ask God what He wants you to do today and follow the tugs on your heart.  Then ask Him again tomorrow what He wants you to do tomorrow.  He wants to hear from you every day.  He will lead you.  This, I know.

Don’t know if God can use you or your story?  He can.  He will.  And many times I’ve witnessed the very things that threaten to hold us down are the very things God uses to lift us up to help and save others through and from the same experiences.

God knows we mess up.  He knew our best and our not so wise choices BEFORE we were made.

We hide sin from other people and from Him because deep down we know it’s sin;  just like Adam and Eve knew and hid in the Garden of Eden.  There is nothing new and nothing you do or think will surprise Him.  He sent Jesus to die on the cross and take YOUR sins with Him SO THAT you can receive the gift of Heaven for all eternity after this life.  You can’t be “good” enough for Heaven or “bad” enough for Hell.  You are forgiven enough when you receive Him and are baptized under water.

Heaven is a GIFT.  You are redeemed!  Heaven will be filled with forgiven sinners.  Hell will be filled with people who denied Christ as their Savior and who walked away from God.  God doesn’t leave you.  You have to leave Him if you don’t want Him.

~~>  And in case nobody has ever told you,

THIS is THE most important decision of your whole life.  <~~

He sent the Holy Spirit here to live INSIDE you and guide you.  This stuff is real and Heaven and Hell are real.

The greatest words ever will be to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:21

He’s not mad at you.

He’s madly IN LOVE WITH YOU and He has a great plan for your life.

How will you know what that looks like unless you keep asking Him to keep leading you?

 

God, teach Your people to stop the fighting and start uniting.  P.S. And please could You teach us what that looks like because as soon as we try, we start arguing (like the children we are.)  Just please keep leading us.  Please forgive us when we mess up and always remind us how much You love us.  Thank You for never giving up on us.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

When We Were Young We Believed

When we were young we believed we could do so many things; crazy, amazing, big, world changing things!

Then life happened.

We started to believe we had such limitations and we were beaten down by other people’s words and ideas.

Why did they say what they said? I don’t know. Maybe they were jealous. Maybe they were broken inside. Maybe they truly believed this world is all there is and there’s not any point in trying anymore.

They were wrong.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2

You CAN make a difference.

Here’s an even better reminder than that! God can make a God-sized difference through your life.

Yes. You. YOUR life.

YOUR story matters.

ALL the details of your life matter.

How you feel about it matters.

God can do something that no man can do. He can turn the very worst and darkest part of your story into something amazing that glorifies Him.

And THAT is a beautiful thing!

Think you’re too old? No. You’re just right.

Think you’re too young? No. You’re just right.

Too tired? God gives new energy.

Think it’s too late? Remember. God is the Author of time. He is not in a hurry.

Ask God what He wants you to do today ~ every day. He will show you.

God and I believe in you.

Now it’s time that YOU believe in you (again or maybe for the first time.)

YOU can make SUCH a difference in this dark world.

When you believe in you – and in God – with childlike faith like you used to, the possibilities for what God will do in your life are limitless.

The world told you that you can’t. The world is wrong. You CAN.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6